Bringing Some Holiday to Your Website

Bringing Some Holiday to Your Website

 

Do you add some holiday zing to your website? Do you change it with the seasons?

Recently a few of us over in the Indiemade for Jewelry Artist group on Facebook were inspired by Melinda Orr to winterize our websites. Studies have shown that a static website does not draw audiences and we want people to visit our site and to feel compelled to  buy from our shops. Linda Younkman from Lindy’s Designs and I, ArtsParadis, have put together some tips to help you with the process of changing up your site for the holidays.
Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 5.06.04 PM

Linda:  On my site Lindys Designs, I decided to go with a winter theme rather than a Christmas Theme – with a free snowflake wallpaper that I found by googling “free snowflake wallpaper” I added a background in the custom background portion of my website theme. I normally have a slideshow showcasing several collages of my jewelry on the front page. I also gave the slideshow a wintery feel as well. Using Picmonkey (which is a free online photo editing website) I created a collage using photos of a snowy landscape that I shot on my phone that morning.  I added some text and some overlays of snowflakes that were also available in picmonkey. For the second slide, I created a blank wintery canvas by using the same snowflake overlays and some text. I then created two additional collages with photos of my jewelry, added some text, and again the same snowflake overlays.   I turned all these collages into a slide show using Cincopa.  To tie the entire theme throughout the front page of my site, I also added some snowflake overlays to my shop logo.

Charlene: For my website, ArtsParadis, I decided I wanted a winter theme as well. I know I’ll be pretty busy after the New Year, and I wanted a look that would last for more than a month. It’s either laziness or efficiency… I’ll go with the latter. Just like Linda, I found a wonderful snowflake picture on Google Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.17.05 AMand decided to use that as my site background. I also changed the colors of the website features to match it. Things such as the header and footer, the links, and the content titles and text. I used a color editor to pull the colors I wanted from the picture. Since it gives me those colors in RGB values, I use a great website called RGB to Hex to find the hex code of the color I want. Sometimes searching manually on the color wheel can be a real pain! After that, I added a slideshow of designs I thought would be great gifts using Cincopa.

With PicMonkey and some of the other online sites for photo editing you can create great holiday collages or slideshows to give your site that holiday feeling.   Finding free wallpaper online is easy to do as well  – just Google the theme you are looking for and check to make sure that it is ok for commercial use.

You can check out our holiday look at our websites:

Charlene Wood    www.artsparadis.com

Linda Younkman www.lindysdesigns.com

 

Using Pinterest for Building Business

Using Pinterest for Building Business

 

A great article from the Indiemade blog of using Pinterest for building your business by Mitzi Curi /Indiemade Blog

Many of us are using Pinterest for personal pins, but do you use Pinterest to promote your business?  Pinterest is a powerful tool for an indie artist or crafter, considering that over 90% of communication is nonverbal and Pinterest is all about using visual images.  And the Pinterest site has been rolling out many interesting options for businesses lately.  So it’s time to get started using Pinterest to promote your business!

Let’s start at the beginning.  We’ve touched on this topic before here on IndieMade.  For a good introductory article about Pinterest for Business, see our article HERE.  Also, Axel McCarthy wrote an article how to use the sharing feature on your listing page.  Be sure you are aware of that feature!  For Pinterest Basics, see this page on the Pinterest site.

Pinterest Tips for Business

1. Sign Up!

To set up your Pinterest for Business Account, refer to this page. Once you sign up for Pinterest for business, this page will tell you all you need to know about using the Pinterest logo.  You will also want to download the PDF, full of Pinterest for Business info:  Pinterest Best Practices PDF.

Pinterest Pins

2. Verify Your Website

Once you begin using Pinterest for business, you will need to “verify” your Pinterest site. “Verifying” means identifying the site as yours.  You can find directions for verifying your site here.

3. Write Awesome Pinterest Descriptions

Just a word about descriptions:  pay attention to them!  Research on pinner behavior has found that short descriptions aren’t necessarily the best.  Thorough, useful descriptions using keywords should be the goal. This will help pinners find your pins in search.  For specific tips about writing good pin descriptions, see this page.

4. Use Rich Pins

Business owners will eventually want to familiarize themselves with the concept of “Rich Pins.”  Rich Pins are, in a nutshell, pins that have extra details added to them to make them more useful.  There are five types of Rich Pins:   place, product, movie, recipe, and article.  To get started, you’ll need to prepare your website with meta tags, test out your Rich Pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. If you’re not technical, you might want to ask a techie friend or hired geek to help you!  Here are the specifics.

5. Get Help

As you set up your Pinterest for Business account, questions might arise.  Pinterest recently announced they now have an improved Help Center.  Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.

6. Check Out Pinterest Analytics

We are all familiar with Google Analytics, but Pinterest has their own web analytics.  If you are using Pinterest for Business, sign up for Pinterest Web Analytics to track your reach and progress.

7. Read the Blog

Pinterest has a Business Blog that’s full of helpful posts on various Pinterest topics.  Keep abreast of Pinterest-related topics by bookmarking the Pinterest for Business blog.  Recent factoids posted on the Pinterest for Business Blog include quotes and inspiring messages are some of the most popular pins; pinners love humor, so if you can come up with something humorous related to your brand there is a good chance of re-pinning; vertical pins are more popular than horizontal pins; and video pins are becoming more and more popular.

Master Pinterest indiemade.com

8. Find Pinterest Inspiration

You might like to see some examples of businesses that have used Pinterest to improve their businesses.  Lowes, the home improvement store, is one good example of a chain store that’s used Pinterest to their advantage.  They maintain a Pinterest board with lots of do-it-yourself project examples to inspire potential customers.  Check out this page for some more interesting examples of businesses that use Pinterest as part of their marketing plan.

Most “pinners” know how addictive Pinterest can be.  Why not spend that time making pinboards that will help spread the word about your business?  Pinterest is making it easier all the time, so go ahead and get started!

– See more at: http://www.indiemade.com/blog/using-pinterest-business#sthash.RJdijNoV.dpuf

– See more at: http://www.indiemade.com/blog/using-pinterest-business#sthash.cffzVGvn.dpuf

Bead Shows & Classes

Bead Shows & Classes

 

A list of  bead show venues and classes.  To add yours favorites, click the Pink “Add to List” button, add title, link, description, tags and save.   We welcome you to vote on your favorites by clicking the up arrow for favorites or down arrow for least favorite sites.  You can add or view comments by clicking the speech bubble on the bottom right of the listing.

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Bead Shows & Classes

A list of show venues for buying beads, classes etc.

Jun 03, 2014 - beadfest.com - 30
Bead Fest: Shopping, Workshops and Expo

Bead Fest: Bead Show and Beadmaking Classes

Jun 03, 2014 - beadandbuttonshow.com - 29
Bead & Button

Bead show and classes in Milwaukee WI

 

Using Social Media To Promote Your Work

Using Social Media To Promote Your Work

 

I get asked “how do you link your item through to multiple social media sites?” It is actually pretty easy and it is a great way to increase how many people you reach when promoting your work. The Pinterest team thought we’d give you a quick and easy walk through on how to make sure all your posts on a single item can link through to all your social media.

Step 1: create a listing on your commerce site (Etsy, Artfire, your own domain, etc). Start with listing your item as you always do, but make sure to include a descriptive title (are they earrings or a necklace? what style: boho, steampunk, vintage? type of materials? etc)

Step 2: ‘pin’ your listing to a designated Pinterest board full of items from your store. On Etsy you have a couple of options once you publish on the right side (tweet, pin, like on facebook). Be sure to include details on your pin just as you would have on your commerce site so people can easily find your other work and where to buy it.

Step 3: go to your Pinterest and find the pin you just added. ‘Clip’ your Pinterest pin to your Polyvore items.

Step 4: go to your Polyvore profile and click on your new item and click the button on the right that says ‘create a set with this item.’ So now you create a ‘set’ using your item. Pull in colors or a style that really showcases your work to give people excited about how to match your item within their wardrobe. Publish your Polyvore set to your profile on the site (I usually uncheck the box that asks if you want to ‘share.’ I don’t like to have it show up on my blogger postings to all other bloggers.)

Step 5: Once your Polyvore is set is published, click on the button above your set that says ‘blogger.’ It will ask you if you want to publish on your blog, or send as a draft. I usually send as a draft so that I can edit it and add a little write up about the set I’ve created. Publish your Polyvore set as you would any other post.

Step 6: now that your Polyvore board is published on blogger, when someone clicks on it the link will take them to your set on Polyvore. Once at Polyvore they can click on your item and it will click through to your Pinterest board. At Pinterest when they click on your item it will take them to your commerce site. Everything will automatically link from the origin of where you ‘clipped’ and ‘pinned’ your item.

If you stop by my blog, click on the Polyvore ‘set’ and click your way through all the links to see this demonstrated.

How to find me, or my Antiquity Travelers sites: my shop on Etsy, my blog, my Pinterest boards, my twitter feed, my Facebook page, my Polyvore sets, my flickr photostream or my gogobot travel passport. Or leave me a message on my AW page if you have any questions on how to set up links to ensure link throughs from one site to another.

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